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Regarding the Swedish vid, isn't that closer to the English by than it is to at? Freso 14:57, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Which of the meanings? There are in general no exact correspondences:

At the table = Vid bordet
At work = På jobbet

Prepositions are a pain in (*a part of the anatomy*) to get right between sv: and en: - probably true for other lang's as well, but these are the two I'm somewhat confident in. \Mike 17:12, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Isnt this bad English? Ending with a sentence with "in?" Would "...these are the two in which I'm somewhat confident" be better?
This is the case with every language. The little words (prepositions, particles, articles, postpositions, etc.) are always very idiomatic and seldom very logical. If we included all the possibilities along with examples and explanations for all these words in all languages, the Translations section would become virtually unusable.
I think that only the words or forms that would normally be listed in a dictionary should be included in the Translations section of the At article, and then all of the examples and explanations should be placed on the various foreign-language pages that the different translations link to. For Swedish, this would mean that pages or sections would be needed for vid, , hos, i, till, över and åt, and then all examples and notes should be located on those pages and sections. —Stephen 06:39, 19 May 2005 (UTC)
A little bit slow on the response here, but ... Prepositions tend to be complex, but not necessarily illogical. Lakoff et. al.'s concept of radial categories is particularly helpful (though not all-powerful) in such cases. Separate translations are most helpful in teasing out meanings and conversely, a reasonably complete collection of senses should make the translations less ambiguous and thereby more useful. In the case above, at in at the table is not the same as at in at work. The first indicates a specific location as with at the stopsign or at the altar while the second indicates a general location associated with an activity, as with at school or at the office. --dmh 07:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
And actually, He's at work is distinct from He's hard at work on defining "at" (you can substitute office or school or temple or whatever for work in the first case but not the second.) --dmh 08:00, 27 July 2010 (UTC)


Definition 3 isn't clear enough. It indicates something more like "aim" than just "direction", hence the huge differnce between "he threw a rock to me" and "he threw a rock at me" in English. — Hippietrail 15:08, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Let's see if we can assemble a corpus of examples and then make some sense of it. In no particular order.
Look at me.
Turn left at the next stoplight.
We will meet at the pub.
I stayed at the pub after the meeting.
We will meet at one o'clock.
Come here at once.
He threw a rock at me.
He threw a rock to me.
He threw a rock toward me.
He came at me with a sword.
He came toward me with a sword.
He came to me with a sword.
at the side of the road
by the side of the road
on the side of the road
I was at the store.
I was at home.
I felt at home.
Surprisingly, the three senses given seem to cover all these, if we change the third sense to "indicating a target.
The other angle is to compare with other prepositions:
  • Toward connotes a target, but not an intention to hit the target. Toward can be used with directions (toward the North).
  • To connotes a destination as opposed to target (you can drive to a town, but one does not normally drive at a town).
  • Others?
-dmh 18:01, 24 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Ought not the use of at as an infinitive-marker, related to the infinitive-markers of the Nordic languages, be mentioned in an English definition? Þis ilk bok es translate into Inglis tong to rede for the love of Inglis lede, Inglis lede of Ingland, for the commun at understand

English missing termsEdit

This is missing loads and loads of meanings in English. --Itkilledthecat (talk) 22:04, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Probably. It would be a great contribution to add and cite valid senses and to revise existing senses. Take a look at this site for a useful set of resources to study polysemic words, especially grammatical terms like this basic preposition. DCDuring TALK 23:45, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
Return to "at" page.